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50 'Matrix'-style Nokia Lumias capture New York's 'living moments'

Nokia captures portraits of Manhattanites with the "Arc of Wonder," a bullet time rig of fifty Nokia Lumia 1020 camera-phones.

Fifty Nokia Lumia 1020 camera-phones took to the streets of New York for "Matrix"-style living portraits Nokia

What do you get when you hit the streets of New York City with fifty Nokia Lumia 1020 smartphones and a Microsoft Surface? The Arc of Wonder, that's what.

Nokia recruited filmmaker and music video director Paul Trillo to take fifty 1020s onto the streets of Manhattan with the Arc of Wonder, an elaborate arch-shaped rig holding the 1020s, to capture "living moment" portraits of Gotham's citizens.

The project involves a "Matrix"-style bullet time" rig filled with Nokia's 41-megapixel camera-phones. The rig is powered by a generator with a wireless network built-in, controlled by the Surface tablet running a custom app that adjusts the many cameras' settings and fires the phones simultaneously.


Bullet time is a special effect firing a bunch of cameras at the same time, then playing the pictures back one-by-one to give the illusion of moving inside the frozen moment. All told, the Nokia team captured 30,000 photos from Union Square and Allen Street to Central Park West. Each batch of 50 snaps is slowed down and stabilised, combined together with a slightly jerky feel and snatches of sound from the subjects that give the moments a lifelike feeling.

HTC has previously built its own smartphone bullet time rig consisting of a whopping 130 HTC One phones, while Nokia recently hit the catwalk with 80 Lumia phones stitched together to make a skirt.